Microsoft Surface Phone release date, specs rumors: new Lumia phone to release in 2017 instead of Surface Phone?

The Microsoft logo is seen on an electronic billboard on an office building in New York City.Reuters/Mike Segar

Microsoft is rumored to be hard at work on a new Surface Phone to claw back some market share from the current phone giants Apple and Samsung. 

The tech giant has certainly impressed with the Microsoft Surface Pro hybrid laptop but its performance in smartphones has been less so.  Can it manage to make a mark on the smartphone industry with the new Microsoft Surface Phone expected to release some time later this year?  

It seems that the answer to that question may be coming later than anticipated as new reports say that the new Surface Phone has hit a massive setback. 

Worringly, some reports are putting the setback as far back as 2019 because of the current state of Windows 10 on mobile, with reports suggesting Microsoft will instead bring out a new Lumia smartphone this year. 

Other reports predict that the device will be out in the second half of 2017 and in three different variants aimed at three different kinds of users - business, budget-friendly, and high end power user on a par with the Samsung Note enthusiasts.

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It's hard to know for sure because Microsoft has been so coy about their new smartphone, with almost no updates.  Tech fans had been expecting an announcement about the rumored device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, but that came and went without any mention of it.  And similarly, there was no word about it at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month, giving rise to questions around whether Microsoft will in fact bring out a new Surface Phone or not. 

Last year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella assured that smartphones were still on the agenda for the tech company and tantalizingly revealed that whatever smartphone it did bring out, they would be sure to make it different from the rest of the pack. 

"We will continue to be in the phone market, not as defined by today's market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device," Nadella told The Australian Financial Review.

The device, if it ever sees the light of day, is rumored to have a 5.7-inch display and, after Microsoft announced its partnership with Qualcomm a few months back, come with the Snapdragon 835 chip. 

But with Microsoft so quiet on the device and refusing to comment on the rumors, we can only speculate for now. 

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